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medgirl Level 1 Level 1
For some reason recently my AppleTV keeps losing its connection with iTunes. After working fine for a few days, iTunes will no longer show the AppleTV. In Preferences, no AppleTV comes up. The only thing that seems to make it work again is to reboot the AppleTV and sync all over again from scratch by setting it up as a new device. It is of course a big pain to reload gigabytes worth of data again.

My AppleTV is connected to the network wirelessly via an AirPort Express. It connects to the internet fine, as do all of my other devices. Simply rebooting does not work - I have to set the AppleTV up again from scratch. iTunes just isn't seeing it.

iMac 20", Mac OS X (10.6.3), AppleTV
Reply by capaho on May 30, 2010 8:52 PM Helpful
I am so frustrated. The new AppleTV did not fix this.

It's hard to figure what's gone wrong. There have been an increase in this type of complaint recently from Mac users along with the port 3689 error problem. I'm wondering if the last iTunes updates introduced a new problem, although I'm not experiencing it myself. There must be some combination of factors at work here.

One thing I would suggest doing is to use Internet sharing to connect your ATV directly to your Mac and see if that makes a difference. If your Mac is connected by wifi, set Internet sharing from AirPort to Ethernet and connect your ATV to it by cable. If your Mac is connected by Ethernet cable, set Internet sharing from Ethernet to AirPort. Once that's done, run the network setup again from the ATV so that it is connecting to your Mac.

If that resolves the problem, it would indicate the problem is on your network. If that doesn't resolve the problem, it would implicate either iTunes or your Mac. If it's a problem that's not resolvable by the user, you need to bug Apple support until they get a handle on it.

All replies

  • Graham Dombkins Level 1 Level 1
    I think this has been mentioned a few times before in the forums. The very first thing I would do is check my router. I had this exact issue for a bit. Till I started to reset the router each time (and not the ATV) and it came back fine every router reset.

    I then went a bought myself a new router and have not seen the issue since.
  • capaho Level 4 Level 4
    Your ATV may be dropping its wifi connection intermittently, which will disrupt the connection with iTunes even if it appears to be okay on the Internet. If it loses its network connection momentarily, it will re-establish it, so you won't see any disruption on the Internet, but iTunes does not appear to have the ability to re-establish a lost connection with an ATV.

    Try connecting your ATV by Ethernet cable and see if that resolves the problem.
  • medgirl Level 1 Level 1
    I appreciate the suggestions here, but unfortunately I'm still having no luck. I did try resetting the modem/router/etc. after I reloaded the AppleTV. Everything seemed to work for a while this morning, but as of this evening iTunes can't see the AppleTV anymore. It's very strange, because the connectivity for all of my other devices is fine. The AirPort Extreme can see the AppleTV. The AppleTV connects fine to YouTube, trailers, etc. Even my iPhone connects to it using the Remote app. But iTunes doesn't see it at all - it does not appear in the sidebar or under Preferences. The only solution so far seems to be setting it up again from scratch, but that means loading gigabytes of data over and over again, only to have it lose the connection once more.

    I haven't tried connecting it by ethernet because I don't have an easy way to do that without rewiring things. The router itself otherwise seems to work fine. It's less than a year old and I have had no issues with anything else that connects to it.
  • medgirl Level 1 Level 1
    What is also weird is that iTunes can find the AppleTV and play music through it remotely (with AirTunes). When I do that, it says it's finding the AppleTV and succesfully plays music, but it still won't sync with it.

    This happened to me a couple of months ago, but a factory reset seemed to take care of it. Unfortunately, now that isn't the case.
  • capaho Level 4 Level 4
    I haven't tried connecting it by ethernet because I don't have an easy way to do that without rewiring things.

    Some ATV owners are using powerline Ethernet adapters to get around that problem.
  • medgirl Level 1 Level 1
    Okay, we installed an ethernet switch and the AppleTV is now connected by ethernet to our network. I factory restored once again and just finished syncing. We'll see if this helps.
  • medgirl Level 1 Level 1
    Well, that was a waste. My AppleTV worked for about 24 hours connected by ethernet, but now again iTunes can't find it to sync. I had a feeling connectivity wasn't the issue, but it was worth a try. Now I'm back to square one.
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7
    medgirl wrote:
    Now I'm back to square one.

    is the firewall enabled on your Mac ? if so, did you turn it off to troubleshoot your issue ?


  • medgirl Level 1 Level 1
    The firewall on or off doesn't make a difference.
  • jaisn Level 1 Level 1
    I have the same problem. At first, I thought this could be a network problem, due to the fact I was using a wireless connection (although no other wireless products had a problem). I added a powerline network hub this weekend and used it to connect my DVR, X Box and Apple TV. Apple TV is still losing it' connection, no other devices are.

  • capaho Level 4 Level 4
    My AppleTV worked for about 24 hours connected by ethernet, but now again iTunes can't find it to sync.

    Network dropouts by Ethernet are uncommon. Is your ATV randomly rebooting itself? That will cause it to drop out of iTunes.
  • medgirl Level 1 Level 1
    @capaho - I have never noticed my AppleTV to reboot on its own.

    I called Apple today and spoke to two different people. The first wanted me to go to an authorized Apple repair place (no Apple Store near me) to have them run diagnostics through the USB port, and then if there's a hardware problem send off for a new AppleTV. I called the place and they said I would have to leave it there, which I'm not too keen on, as I think this is probably not the answer. I ran the AppleTV diagnostics available on the AppleTV itself and it said everything was fine.

    So I called back and asked if these were the same diagnostics, and they said they weren't, but the second person said it was very unlikely to be a hardware problem and most likely due to network connectivity issues. She sent me a bunch of support articles, some of which I had already read, but some new. My AppleTV is connected by ethernet, but the iMac is connected via WiFi, so wireless interference is still a possibility. I think what I may do is get the iMac connected by ethernet as well and see if that fixes it. That should remove the WiFi issue entirely. If there is still trouble at that point, I will push to have the AppleTV replaced.

    While I think this could possibly be due to wireless interference, I still think there is something dodgy in the firmware or in how iTunes connects with the AppleTV. My wireless network works great ever since I switched to an AirPort Extreme and Express several months ago. It is a very rare occurrence for me to have to reset the router or do anything with the wireless at all. No other devices have problems, and we have several. I also think it's very strange that iTunes can see the AppleTV well enough to stream to it, but not to sync to it. But at this point, I am just looking for a consistent workaround so that I don't have to sync the whole thing every time I want to put something new on it.

    One thing the second Apple rep said was that the IP address for my AppleTV was weird. She did not elaborate on that, and I don't know what to make of it. My understanding of networking is pretty basic - I can set up the usual stuff, but when it gets to things like setting static IP addresses and doing more advanced things with the router, I need help. The rep didn't go any further with that.
  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10
    Mac OS X
    What is the IP of the tv.
  • medgirl Level 1 Level 1
    @Winston Churchill - The IP address of the AppleTV is
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